22 Nov 2014

Women fare poorly in Solomons poll

6:19 pm on 22 November 2014

The Commonwealth Observer Group monitoring the Solomon Islands election says significant impediments remain to women successfully standing for election in the country.

This comes as more than half of the electorates have been declared following last Wednesday's election but women have again fared poorly in a country which has only ever elected 2 women.

26 women were among the 400 plus candidates and they had received backing from various NGOs, while there has been much emphasis on the need for gender equality.

Observers say that in some polling stations women received no votes.

They report comments from some voters claiming women do not make good leaders.

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Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

The chair of the group and former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, expressed the group's disappointment in the light of other advances such as new legislation strengthening party politics in the country.

In other comments Sir Mekere congratulated Solomon Islands on its electoral process and commended the new biometric voters list for raising confidence in the integrity of the electoral roll.

Winning candidates for about thirty of the fifty constituencies have so far been declared.

The majority of these are returning MPs and independents, which is casting doubt on the effectiveness of those new party strengthening rules.

Vote counting underway in Solomon Islands

Vote counting underway in Solomon Islands Photo: RNZI

Counting is expected to continue tomorrow and possibly on Monday in remote eastern constituencies.